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Monitor Audio Airstream10 - Monitor Audio Airstream10

By Hugo Jobling



  • Recommended by TR
Monitor Audio Airstream10


Our Score:


When it comes down to the business of listening to audio, the AirStream10 excels. A 128kbps ‘net radio stream or similar DAB broadcast is never going to sound amazing, but the AirStream10 does a commendable job. FM radio is, unsurprisingly, much better and 320kbps MP3s either streamed or played via the 3.5mm input sounded excellent.

Positioned controls-forwards, the AirStream10's speaker faces down at whatever surface it's placed on. As such, it should definitely be stood this way on a solid surface; if left hanging over the edge of a desk the sound produced is left decidedly muted. However, with the speaker pointed down onto the desk surface the sound can reflect around, in a far less directional fashion than with the AirStream10 stood upright.

The weakest area of the AirStream 10's audio playback is its format support. Sadly, you're limited to just WMA, AAC and MP3 files which is a far cry from the likes of Logitech's Squeezebox Boom, which even played FLAC files. I don't think the benefits of lossless audio would be particularly realised via the AirStream10, though, so it's not too severe an omission.

Audiophiles are still going to want to invest in the likes of an Arcam Solo Mini, or a Sonos setup, but those baulking at the cost of those systems or after an attractive, capable bedroom radio, should be more than happy with the AirStream10.


That the AirStream10 will play back DAB, FM and Internet radio is hardly revolutionary. Nor is its ability to stream media files from a UPnP server. Rather, it's the combination of these features and its eminently stylish chassis at a surprisingly affordable price that makes the AirStream10 such an attractive proposition.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Value 9


September 12, 2009, 9:59 am

That's great and all, but what is it? At first I thought it was a portable speaker, until page 3 of the review said that this device would take internet and DAB streams. So I guessed it was a some kind of audio streaming device, but the aerial in the photos seem to suggest it is able to pick up airwaves all by itself. So I have deduced that it is a radio that can accept other audio inputs - am I right? Where do I claim my prize? Oh, and any chance you can tell us these details on the first page?

Old Pedantry

September 12, 2009, 1:29 pm

Format support is an issue for anyone wanting a core library in a lossless format as those are typically the least well supported. Mine is FLAC and I have a Squeezebox setup. I'd like a "tabletop radio" like this sometime soon but the fact that I'd have to create and maintain an mp3 copy of the flac library in full just for this is a dealbreaker, I'm not adding even more complexity. It's bad enough mucking around with enough mp3s on a separate portable hard disk to feed my iPod (once I'd discovered iTunes wouldn't transfer from the server to the iPod if the server ran Twonky, or without an enormous amount of faff or a 24-hour discovery session every time I added a CD if simply added as a folder).

Andy Vandervell

September 12, 2009, 2:51 pm

@nanite2000: I think you missed this bit on page 1:

"The oh-so-stylish device will happily play radio of the FM, DAB and Internet variety, audio files from any UPnP network source and its speaker can be used for anything you care to hook up via its 3.5mm jack."


September 12, 2009, 2:52 pm

@nanite2000: I guess you didn't read the whole of page 1 then?


September 12, 2009, 3:01 pm

Nice... if only it had USB input.

Still, looking like that, I may have to buy it anyway. Thanks for the review.


September 12, 2009, 4:53 pm

Ah, fair enough. I must have read over that part. Sorry.

Even so (and I don't want to dictate how you guys do your job), is there any reason why this information was tucked away towards the end of the page? I realise that most devices are self explanatory, but when the device function is obscure (as in the case here) you usually say what the device does at the start of the review, not half way through. For example, when you have PCI cards (which can all look very similar), you at least say in the title or the opening paragraph whether it's a graphics card, sound card, etc...

It reminded me of a fake advert I saw in Viz once for a "Black Box With Knobs On" which didn't actually do anything, and was only designed to make your stacked HiFi look more impressive.


Martin Daler

September 12, 2009, 7:13 pm

I'm with nanite here - having to read halfway through the third paragraph near the end of the first page before we are graced with the subject of the review might be some off-the wall technique they teach in journo-school (or not?) but it is rather tedious for the reader.

It was good to read about how the controls worked, especially the mix of touch-sensitive (ugh!) and real buttons.

I am left to wonder how the internet side of things works (which portal, any scope for favourites, BBC "listen-again" etc?). No mention of such crucial bed-side functionality as alarms and display adjustment. And my bete-noire - can it display the clock whilst there is sound coming from the speaker? Seriously, many of these boxes which seek to usurp the humble clock-radio would have you press the snooze button before you can see whether you have any snooze time available.

Overall I am left with my curiosity piqued, but not satisfied.


September 12, 2009, 8:53 pm

Well I am glad somebody else pointed it out. When I complain about low standards of journalism on this website they claim I have a beef or something.

Jon Williamson

September 14, 2009, 10:09 pm

You say tht it does not support lossless formats, but that it does support WMA - does it support WMA lossless? I can't work it out from Monitor Audio's site!

Martin Daler

February 5, 2010, 3:41 pm

The Roberts 83i won't top the beauty parade, but is does do FLAC and talks Twonky and has a USB input - I think those are the three things people wanted here?

Oh, by the way, The Roberts 83i is an Alarm Clock Radio with DAB, FM, Internet Radio and media player functions :)


Any chance of a review?

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